Charity Jessie May calls out for votes to bag a share of Tesco’s bag fund

Swindon-based children’s hospice at home charity Jessie May is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores awarded to local community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant

Jessie May, whose nurses provide vital respite care to local terminally ill children and their families in their own homes, is one of the groups on the shortlist. The charity, which is also based in Kingswood, Bristol, is now encouraging supporters to vote for their charity in two stores in Nailsea and Portishead.

Jessie May Community Fundraiser Helen Mackie said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this amazing opportunity! Winning any of these grants would be an amazing boost for our charity, which relies heavily on funding like this to provide our services at no cost to families locally.

“Our nurses are currently providing care to many children in and around Bristol and North Somerset, so it’s particularly moving to have been chosen in both the Nailsea and Portishead stores, where we are supporting families close by.

“Now we’re just so excited to see what happens over the next few weeks! Please get voting for Jessie May and help us welcome newly referred life-limited children to our ever-growing caseload, and continue to fund our incredible nurses who go above and beyond to support Jessie May families through respite care, emotional support, end of life care and bereavement support.

“Any of these grants would make a world of difference so please do something amazing while you shop and vote for Jessie May!”

Voting is open in all Tesco stores throughout September and October and customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the check-out in store each time they shop.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £56 million to more than 16,000 projects across Britain. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups every time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response from customers. It’s such a special scheme because it’s local people who decide how the money will be spent in their community. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s National Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said: “Bags of Help continues to enable local communities up and down Britain to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them.

“The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online.

Voting in stores takes place between Saturday 1st September and Wednesday 31st October. The two stores Jessie May has been shortlisted in are located at Nailsea (Stock Way North, BS48 1AQ) and Portishead (44 West Hill, BS20 6LR).